Exploring South Australia: Top 10 Sunrise & Sunset Photographs


Gym Beach, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

(Sunset at Gym Beach, Yorke Peninsula)

Over the past few years, as I’ve stepped further away from my own backyard and embraced the world of travel, I’ve become more inspired by what I’ve seen.  As I’ve grown more inspired, my love of photography has evolved as I’ve tried to share this inspiration with others.  And as my love of photography has grown, my behaviour has changed in two ways that I’d never have imagined:

– I’ve started setting my alarm to start the day with sunrise, instead of seeing it by accident at the end of a night of partying

– I’ve delayed drinking my sundowner until the final photography light of the day disappears below the horizon

Wow, how things change!

Here are my Top 10 Sunrise & Sunsets from my recent South Australian road trips.

10. Sunrise – Remarkable Rocks, Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island

This natural formation of granite boulders, perched on a large rock in Flinders Chase National Park provides a great location for a sunrise photograph.  Too early for tourists, it’s an opportunity to begin the day in peaceful solitude as the light of the rising sun hits the boulders.


9. Sunrise – Rawnsley Park Station, Flinders Ranges

Sunrise - Rawnsley Park Station (Station Hill Lookout)

One of my favourite locations for sunrise and sunset in Australia is the outback, where the skies seem higher and wider than anywhere else in the country.  I recently spent six days in the Flinders Ranges and was plagued with rain, cloud and dull skies for most mornings.  This was the first morning that rewarded my persistent early rises with a hint of a sunrise.  This photograph symbolises the frustration I was feeling as my time in the Flinders Ranges was drawing to an end.  I felt there was a great sunrise out there, waiting to be grabbed by both hands…but it just wasn’t quite ready to show itself to me.


8. Sunset – Admirals Arch, Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island

A few kilometres past Remarkable Rocks, lies another incredible natural formation.  Admirals Arch frames the setting sun, providing an almost haunting scene.

TIP: After arriving early enough to spend the time setting up your tripod and composing your shot, it’s highly likely a bus load of tourists will arrive, destroying your solitude.  Don’t get frustrated and be patient.  The buses have a long drive back to Kingscote or Penneshaw and don’t like to compete with the nocturnally active wildlife on the roads.  Your solitude will be returned just as the light is at it’s best for photography! 


7. Victor Harbour, Fleurieu Peninsula

Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia

I discovered this location at Victor Harbour by accident.  I had just returned from the Bluff and had given up on a disappointing sunset.  As I headed to my hotel to check in, I looked out over the water and noticed the dull sky morphing into an explosion of pastel hues.  These wooden structures seemed to appear from nowhere and I had accidentally discovered an idyllic sunset location.


6. Sunrise – Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges 

Sunrise - Pugilist Hill Lookout, Flinders Ranges

As mentioned earlier in this post, sunrises in the Flinders Ranges were frustratingly rare during my recent trip.  But it didn’t stop me setting my alarm each morning and my persistence was finally rewarded on my last day.  As I stood on my own on Pugilist Hill Lookout, I watched the skies slowly turn pink as the morning light hit Wilpena Pound and Rawnsley Bluff like a torch.


5. Sunset – Henley Beach Jetty 

Henley Beach Sunset

Henley Beach was a popular sunset location for me, because it was a five minute drive from where I was staying.  Whilst the jetty, calm waters and lack of crowds provide great ingredients to a potential sunset photograph, the skies can be unpredictable – you never quite know what you will get, which is half the challenge.  After a string of orange and red fiery sunsets, this day changed course and opened up it’s palette of pastel colours.  It was one of those sunsets that stopped everyone in their tracks.  I was joined by other photographers with their DSLR camera and tripod, passers-by with their compact digitals, iPhones appearing from pockets and even a few people holding iPads (looking ridiculous but capturing their own memory of the night)


4. Sunset – Flinders Ranges

Sunset from Station Hill Lookout, Rawnsley Park Station

Although my visit to the Flinders Ranges was disrupted by more rain than I expected, it also provided a few outback rainbow moments.  This one appeared for a few minutes over the Chace Ranges as the sun was setting behind me and I was lucky enough to be at the Station Hill Lookout at Rawnsley Park Station to capture it.


3. Sunrise – Kingscote, Kangaroo Island


My first morning on Kangaroo Island provided the best sunrise of my week.  The skies over Nepean Bay looked like a photo-shopped postcard and the Kingscote Jetty area provided a number of different foreground options.  The inclusion of the boat and bird in this particular image symbolised the features of the Kingscote area for me.


2. Sunset – Henley Beach


In complete contrast to the Henley Beach sunset listed at number 5, this sunset provided a vibrant explosion of red and orange skies.  This boat conveniently sailed into my frame just as the sun was setting.


1. Sunrise – Nepean Bay, Kingscote, Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island

This photograph was taken 15 minutes before the photograph listed at number 3.  I had just left my motel to make my way to the jetty, but was stopped in my tracks by the light in the sky.  Not wanted to waste a moment, I walked down to the edge of the water near the Public Rock Pool and enjoyed an energising start to the day.  As I stood there, a group of local women arrived for their morning swim.  I asked them if they ever tired of this picturesque start to the day – and of course they answered “no”!

What is your favourite destination for sunrise and sunsets?


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Kellie is a traveller and photographer who is most at home when exploring the world beyond it. Through the intersection of her travel, writing and photography passions, she shares her experiences to inspire others to create there own. The desire to live life instead of existing through it has introduced Kellie to inspirational locations throughout seven continents and from this a passion for landscape and wildlife photography has evolved. She feels a particular connection to the polar regions and Africa. You can see more of her photography at www.kellienetherwoodphotography.com


  1. Wow, those photos are amazing. I especially like one for kangaroo island. And the colors are very pretty too. 🙂

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